Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics


Jay C. Andersen


The Colorado River is subject to a salinity problem which affects the downstream user. It has been suggested that approximately 40% of the salinity in the Colorado River results from irrigation return flow. The evapotranspiration process extracts nearly pure water for plant use leaving behind soluable salts which may become part of the return flow. These salts adversely affect the orop yield for the downstream user. Farmers' contributions to the irrigation return flow have been criticized. With the criticisms have been many suggestions on salinity control, including restriction of salt outflow at the farm level through either voluntary or mandatory means. An important element in the policy making procedure is a good information base showing the economic effect of salinity control on the individual farm to which the control affects. To date such a base has not been available. Such an Information base is necessary to establish policies and implement programs to solve the salinity problem in the Colorado River.



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